Keeping Bacon Lovers & The Cook Happy ☆ Oven-Roasted Bacon

Oven-Roasted Bacon | © Life Through the Kitchen Window.com
The two strips at the bottom were roasted directly on the parchment, and are crispier than the others, which were roasted on a rack.

With Bacon Boy and the Bacon Princess among the offspring, bacon is an absolute requirement at family breakfast gatherings around here. For our last family brunch I made two and a half pounds of it. We could have eaten more, but hey, I have to draw the line somewhere.

Growing up, there was one way to make bacon: in a frying pan on the stove top. Its need for incessant tending is quite inconvenient when you’re trying to get a range of other dishes together, and occasionally it’s dangerous in hot weather when more skin is exposed and vulnerable to spattering fat. Ouch! And the mess … the whole stovetop would be greasy, the counters next to it and the floor.

So it was a revelation of the highest order to me some ten years ago when I found a technique for oven roasting bacon in one of Ina Garten’s cookbooks. This may be old news to you, but I’d wager that the first time you heard about it, you felt the same frisson of excitement that I did. No constant monitoring, clean up is easy (just let the bacon fat solidify, then fold up the parchment and discard or scrape it off to save) and you can still have your bacon as soft or crispy as you like.

Just line a sheet pan with parchment paper or tin foil, optionally set metal racks on it, lay on the bacon and roast it until done to your liking. For years I used the racks, but I didn’t have enough for big batches and they didn’t fit my sheet pans properly. Frankly, they were awkward and a bit of a pain. Lately, I’ve simply been laying the bacon directly on the parchment paper and roasting away. I did a test last week using both methods for comparison purposes. Have to say, I preferred the direct-parchment-version, and not just because it was easier come clean up time — it cooked faster to a crispy yet still pliable texture. Experiment complete, I enjoyed breakfast for dinner.

If you’re already familiar with this method of cooking bacon, this post may be a bit of a yawn for you. But if you haven’t tried it, do! Sometimes a simple change in technique makes a huge difference.

Oven-Roasted Bacon

Pre-heat the oven to 400 ℉ and line as many baking trays as you need with parchment paper or foil. If you’re cooking the bacon at the same time as another dish that requires a slightly lower temperature, just leave it in longer. I’ve made it at 375 ℉ before and it turned out fine; I haven’t made it at a lower temperature.

  • desired quantity of the side or streaky bacon of your choice

Place the bacon strips on the prepared tray. If you’re making a lot they can be very close together or even touching since the bacon shrinks as it cooks. Place in the pre-heated oven and roast for 15 minutes for well-done but still pliable bacon. My family likes their bacon super crispy so I leave it in a few minutes longer for them. Since ovens and tastes vary, use trial and error to achieve just the texture you prefer.

Once cooked, remove the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate or tray, and top with more paper towel to absorb excess fat before serving.

Set the baking tray aside to cool until the bacon fat has solidified. Then you can fold up and discard the parchment paper. If you want to save the bacon fat, scrape it off and store.

18 comments

    • Hi Jennifer — I haven’t had any issues with that, such as smoking the next time the oven heats up or even a bacon smell. For instance, the next thing I baked after this batch of bacon was peanut butter cookies, and I didn’t notice anything ‘bacony’ when I put them into the oven.

  1. Oh I am hungry as I read this Marlene! I hadn’t thought of cooking bacon directly on parchment paper, I admit, so will definitely try this next time, thanks for the great tip! We don’t eat it a lot but it is nice to have when the kids are all home and we have a ‘full English’ 🙂

    • I love the thought of a full English breakfast, Sherri, although I don’t think I’ve ever had the full deal, with the grilled tomatoes (right?) and all the other accompaniments. Although I don’t make bacon all that often either, silly as it sounds, this method has made a huge difference for me! Everyone is fine with it except for my son, who says it tastes different prepared this way, but I think he’s just giving me a hard time, lol. I did tell he he was welcome to pan fry his own, but he’s still devouring this version when he’s over!

      • Haha..yes, I’m sure your son much prefers the bacon cooked by his mum, tasting ‘different’ or not, lol! And yes, that’s right, grilled tomatoes, mushrooms, baked beans, bacon and sausage and egg, fried or scrambled. Not forgetting the toast too of course, and sometimes fried bread and black pudding, but neither of those I like. I’ll be doing one of these this weekend as my middle boy is home. I’ll think of you when I cook the bacon Marlene, so thanks again! I hope you have a lovely weekend and that you are getting to grips with all the unpacking and enjoying your lovely new home.

      • I’ve never had a full English. I can see why it’s called ‘full’ because you definitely won’t want to eat for a while after all that! We used to have black pudding (Mom called it blood sausage) when I was a kid, and I really like it. Haven’t had it years and years. Enjoy your visit with your son, who by now must be very well-fed indeed!

      • Ah yes, I’ve heard it called blood sausage too. I’m not too keen myself, but I get it for the others, and yes, my son definitely goes home well fed, thanks Marlene 🙂

  2. I don’t know how I missed this post. I saw the bacon when I hit the homepage and I couldn’t look away Marlene. I just couldn’t look away. It was like first attraction LOL. Did I tell you I love this post 😉

    • Haha, ok, I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that you really like bacon! There’s just something about it … I’m hitting up the market in a while and I just may need to pick up some more!

  3. hi Marlene! I tried another method in Mexico that my Mom had told me about, but I was very hesitant to try. But it worked great & tasted great too. I microwaved our bacon between sheets of paper towel. No frying pan, no bacon fat spatter all over the stove! I can actually cook the whole package of bacon & put it in the fridge for when I get that hankering for a toasted tomato, bacon & cheese sandwich with mayo but don’t have the time to fry the bacon!?! Basically less mess & fuss the better for me in the kitchen. Give it a try – you might like it. Anne ♥

    • Thanks for sharing this method, Anne! I’m sure many of my readers will appreciate it. As for me, I gave up using a microwave a few years ago and don’t miss it. It cleared up a big chunk of real estate in the kitchen. So, I just cook/reheat things using the stove/oven. Like you, I like to cook up a batch of bacon so I have some on hand in the fridge for when the fancy strikes. Thanks for sharing!

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